Friday, 3 May 2013

Friday Fives: Treats They Don't Tell You About After The Birth!

Reading back through my recent blog posts, I realised that I have - horror of horrors - become a little bit of a gushy "Mummy Blogger" since giving birth to Tyne.

Don't get me wrong, I love my little moshi monster to pieces and will definitely be gushing about him a lot in future blog posts - but my intention when changing from beauty/fashion blogging to parent blogging was to approach the subject with absolute honesty - and I feel I've strayed a bit from that lately.

So I thought I would do something a bit more "me" for this weeks Friday Fives post - I thought I would share with you my Top 5 Post-Baby "Treats"!

There are PLENTY of scare stories that people LOVE to share with you when you're pregnant - people love to tell you how horrific giving birth is, how much pain you'll be in, how a friend of a friend of theirs went into labour at the local supermarket and gave birth in the car on the way to the hospital, etc etc.....

What people DON'T really talk about much - is what happens AFTER the giving birth part is over with.

As an expectant mother, I know that my focus was largely on the event of giving birth itself - I barely even thought about what would happen afterwards.

Perhaps that is why I've been so shocked/repulsed by what follows the birthing experience....

And so without further ado, here is my Top 5 list of gross, undignified and embarrassing post-birth experiences....

1. Mi Vagina Es Su Vagina!

Immediately after giving birth, I was taken into recovery. The very first thing that happened after the baby was handed to me was this...

A nice lady came up to me and introduced herself  by saying "I'm Reenie, I'm just gonna have a look at your down below and check everything looks ok...."

No sooner were the words out of her mouth, before my poor tired brain had been able to process them - she had whipped the covers down, lifted my gown, and somehow managed to spread my legs so far apart that even Madonna would admire the effort....

She then proceeded to poke around down there for a good few minutes in full view of my partner, the other nurses, etc before declaring that "All was well" and shoving my legs back together again.

I wish I had known then that this was just the first of MANY similar experiences over the course of my 2 day hospital stay - I had more visitors to my nether-regions over those 2 days than Jenna Jameson has had during her entire career. And none of them were as fun!

What struck me as quite amusing was the fact that by the time day 2 rolled around, I found myself actually rather used to the whole experience - it's funny how quickly you become accustomed to opening your legs for every stranger that walks into your room. A habit I really must try to break now.....

2. Call The Midwife!

After you've given birth, the hospital midwives really do become your very best friends - after all, they are the people with the answers to all of your questions and (more importantly!) the keys to the medicine cupboard!

However, your midwife is also the person with whom you will form an extremely intimate relationship very very quickly - they will (as previously discussed) be having a good poke around your down belows, discussing your blood loss and bowel movements in great detail, and many other such delights....

So imagine my delight when I realised that the midwife on duty for my first night post-partum was.....Ben.

Now I realise that men have just as much right as women to enter into midwifery and indeed any profession that they choose - but as a first time mum, already uncomfortable about exposing my bits & pieces for all and sundry - I would have preferred to have at least had somebody with the same body parts as me looking after me that first night.

During that night, Midwife Ben had to - inspect my vagina regularly for blood loss, inspect my maternity pads for clots, change my bedsheets when I had a massive blood loss, remove my catheter, and insert a suppository into my bum....all things I would rather NOBODY had to do for me, but if somebody had to - I would MUCH rather it not to be a young, attractive male. *sigh*.

3. Shove it up your bum!....Literally.

Following on from a c section, you are kept well dosed up on various painkillers. I had been warned by a lady in the opposite bed that I should take all painkillers offered to me, even if I didn't feel any pain as its better not to let it get a grip on you....

I remembered her words of advice, and gladly accepted all painkillers offered to me the night following the operation - so when the afore mentioned Ben The Midwife came to see me and offer me diclofenac (in his words "The most amazing painkiller there is") I accepted straight away.

I was rather confused when Ben then told me to lift my gown up and roll over. My panic stricken expression obviously alerted him to the fact that I had no idea what he was suggesting, and he informed me that the diclofenac was administered in suppository form - meaning he needed to shove it up my back passage.


Having never used any kind of suppository before I was rather unsure about this, but I was worried about turning down such a highly recommended painkiller so I obligingly rolled over and allowed the nice man to shove a pill up my bottom. A rather strange sensation!

I was pleasantly surprised at how effective the pain relief was.

However, I DO wish that Ben had informed me of the side effects of using a suppository as after one rather memorable trip to the bathroom I did become rather panic stricken about why there was a strong stench of chemicals coming from me and when exactly I had eaten a jelly fish....I hadn't realised that the gel capsules used would need to work their way back out of me!! :/
 Rather unpleasant....

4. Taking The Pee....

You could be forgiven for thinking that the one safe haven of privacy following birth would be in the bathroom - but nooooo!!

After a c section, they need to be sure that everything is functioning as it should. So initially you are fitted with a catheter - I knew this would happen before I went into hospital so that didnt come as too much of a shock - however, I hadn't expected that the midwives would so frequently come and inspect my wee bag and discuss at length with me how much I had filled it and that they would like me to be weeing more - in front of all my visitors.... *cringe*

Because I wasn't filling it to their satisfaction, they decided to go one better and provided me with a big bright silver measuring jug - once my catheter was removed, I had to lug that big silver jug to the bathroom with me everytime I needed a wee - I had to wee into the jug to measure how much their was, pour it away, and come back to my bed and write down the amount.

I particularly enjoyed the embarrasment of carrying that big, shiny, impossible-to-conceal jug to the toilet with me during visiting hours when everybody elses family could see me......

5. Bloody Hell!

Everybody knows about the Lochia - the heavy blood loss every woman experiences after giving birth.
I knew of its existence but since nobody really talks about it, I didn't really know what to expect...

So I feel I should share with my sisters my experience of what to expect on that front following birth - basically, you will be a Vampires dream for anything from 6-8 weeks after the birth.

In my experience, the bleeding has been heavier than anything I could ever have imagined possible, there are also rather large clots to be passed - and you will need to have these inspected by your midwife if you are worried that they are larger than a 50 pence piece (I found it quite embarrasing when I rang for the midwife, eagerly showed her my clotty messy pad only for her to say "Yeah...thats only a tiny one. Thats not even worth mentioning"....Oops.)  - during the first evening in hospital while feeding the baby, I felt a sudden gush from down below - I was absolutely flabbergasted and wasn't sure if I had just wet the bed or lost a lot of blood. As daft as it sounds, I decided it was probably best not to know either way - so I just pressed my buzzer and waited for someone to come!
 It turned out I was bleeding heavily - a change of bedclothes and the further indignity of a bed bath later - and all was fine again.
 But the lochia lasted for a full 4 weeks for me - I then had a break of one day before I was hit with fresh bleeding, this time accompanied by a lot of cramps - so yes, my period was back. But it was back with a vengeance!
It has been back for well over a week now and is showing no signs of going away.....

So there you have it - my Top 5 Indignities suffered in the name of giving birth.

What were the biggest idignities you suffered following birth? Did you experience any unexpected surprises?!
If you'd care to share the details, I'd love to know that I'm not alone! 

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